Last night, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published an article titled “Endgame”. Describes the next three possible development paths of the big block competition chain and the Ethereum roadmap with Rollup as the core. Although the article is not long, it reveals a lot of information.
Vitalik Buterin first mentioned the “big block” competition chain (no specific name mentioned). He suggested that these “big block” competition chains also adopt the Rollup two-layer expansion solution of Ethereum, whether it is the Optimistic Rollup solution that introduces fraud proof or the ZK Rollup solution that uses zero-knowledge proof. In addition, he also mentioned the data availability sampling (data availability sampling) scheme, which allows users to check block availability. Vitalik Buterin concluded that after adopting such a roadmap, although these large block competition chains are still centralized in terms of block production, block verification is trustless and highly decentralized.
Two possible Rollup Layer 2 network development paths
Then, Vitalik Buterin returned to the topic of Ethereum expansion. He proposed :
- A specific Rollup Layer 2 network. Whether it is Arbitrum, Optimism, Zksync or something brand new, it really dominates the Rollup second-tier network track because of various factors (whether it is user experience, security or other) (everyone has migrated to this Rollup second-tier network) . Then the result is: block production is centralized, and block verification is trustless and highly decentralized. So this roadmap is actually very similar to the rollup expansion scheme adopted by the competition chain.
- There is no Rollup Layer 2 network that can unify this track, but it is in a state of blooming flowers. The tps of each Rollup Layer 2 network reaches hundreds of transactions per second, so we have a future of Ethereum with multiple Rollups. Then, Vitalik Buterin mentioned that this is the expansion idea of Cosmos. Seeing this, the author remembered what Georgios Konstantopoulos, a research partner at Paradigm, mentioned in a podcast. The Ethereum Rollup Layer 2 network can adopt the Cosmos IBC proposal. According to this idea, users can avoid bulky bridges (no need to pay high fees on the main chain) by transferring users across the two-layer network of Rollup.
The decentralization of block production eventually becomes centralized
Then the result is: decentralized verification, strong censorship resistance, and even distributed block production (because Rollup is very small). But he also mentioned that because of the possibility of cross-domain MEV (new research direction). The decentralization of block production will gradually weaken and eventually become centralized.
All three roadmaps eventually lead to the same result: block production is centralized, block verification is trustless and highly decentralized, and it can still prevent censorship.
Then Vitalik Buterin explained what this means for block producers and Ethereum. For the majority of Ethereum users, Vitalik Buterin’s advice is not to comment too early on which Rollup path (1 or 2) will win. It is to explore openly. The translation is: “Children do multiple-choice questions, and of course adults need them all”.
Finally, Vitalik Buterin also mentioned:
“All of this may take years to complete. Sharding and data availability sampling are very complex techniques to implement. It will take years of improvement and auditing for people to safely store their assets in ZK- running a full EVM. In rollup. Cross-domain MEV research is still in its infancy. However, a realistic and bright future for scalable blockchains may emerge, which seems to be getting clearer.”